08 May

Meet OAHU President, Dawn Miller

Meet OAHU President, Dawn Miller


Name:  Dawn Miller

Title: Employee Benefits Specialist

Business:  Hagan Hamilton Insurance

How did you get into this business? I started working for a State Farm agent when I was in High School

Location: McMinnville, OR (home office)

Where were you born: Walnut Creek, CA

First Job: filing charts in a doctors office

Dream Job: to be a pilot, although I hate flying so it seems a little like an oxymoron.

Favorite Happy Hour/Tasting Room/Bar in Portland: Portland City Grill in the City (espresso martini is my favorite) but there are some great places in the Willamette Valley a few of my local favorites include LaRambla & Pura Vida

Favorite sites in or around Portland: any golf course, this doesn’t mean I’m any good at golfing but I do enjoy it.

What’s your opinion of the phrase “keep Portland weird”? I’m not sure if it’s Eugene or Portland that should have this phrase

If you were selected to be on a reality TV show which one would it be?… I wish I could say the Voice but it would probably have to be Amazing Race

Advice for my early career self: Don’t let failure discourage you.

When I have a long weekend I… enjoy being a mom and traveling around Oregon

What are the top things on your bucket list?… to see the Grand Canyon, to ride in a helicopter

You’ve been given  an unexpected bonus of $1,000 cash.  What do you do with it?  Give it to OAHU okay okay, I’d probably take a trip to Las Vegas.


08 May

Recap of the 2015 Capitol Conference

For twenty-five years, NAHU members have been coming to Washington, D.C., to stand together and make their voices heard. This year, make sure your voice is amongst the crowd. By registering for NAHU’s 25th Annual Capitol Conference, you will have the opportunity to join with hundreds of your colleagues from around the country to lobby for health reform changes of importance to you and your clients on Capitol Hill. You will also get to hear from exciting speakers representing Congress, the Administration and other health reform stakeholders, network with other agents and see our Health Underwriters Political Action Committee at work. With the 114th Congress having just convened under new leadership, now is the perfect time to come to Washington, D.C., and stand up as a force for change.


Here’s a few things the Portland attendees had to say about the conference.


My two cents that would be that I attended a breakout session on Monday afternoon “Understanding the Employer Reporting Requirements”  where a member of the IRS was available for Q & A.  An individual got up and started talking about the inconsistencies in the way carriers treat HRA’s due to law/regulation and the member of the IRS heard what  talking about (thanks to Dave Fear), made notes and said that he would work on creating a fix for us.  It was pretty neat to watch that happen and realize that with clear communication, we CAN change things.

– Dawn Miller, OAHU President


“As a first time attendee of NAHU’s Capitol Conference, it was an exciting and enlightening experience to meet with our elected officials and educate them on the importance of key decisions related to health insurance and reform.  They care deeply about their constituents and look to us as valued experts/partners on matters that have resounding impacts on our clients, our agents and our carriers. Seeing the process firsthand gave me new-found appreciation for the important legislative advocacy that NAHU engages in on a national level and that OAHU, PAHU and WVAHU engage in at a local level. I look forward to seeing how our conversations impact the decisions of legislators as they vote on bills that effect all of us. I can’t think of a more important reason to be involved in the Association of Health Underwriters then the difference we make on policy and law matters, and I would encourage every member who can, to attend.”

– Sally Kallianis, Incoming PAHU President


My experience:  As a first time attendee, it was truly inspiring to see that what we do here in Oregon and the surrounding states really does have a bigger impact than it sometimes seems.  Connecting with people from all over the country, including our representatives in the house and senate, and our advocates at NAHU, who share the same hopes and goals for our industry was both empowering and educational.

– Emma Passe, PAHU Spring Forum Chair


Capitol Conference was a great experience. I have attended this event several times, but this was slightly different. It was very interesting going into legislators’ offices and hearing a different tone. It was a subtle but noticeable change that I attributed to the changes we’ve seen in the make up of congress. I found legislators more accessible than I have in the past. They seemed to listen a little closer and show a little more interest. The conference was great – some very good speakers and topics – including a lot of discussion about cost containment. It is always nice to spend time with the Oregon contingent in DC. Overall it was very worthwhile and allowed us to gain more knowledge and insight into the direction of healthcare reform in the 114th congress.

– Jamie Sewel, WVAHU President


Want to see pictures?  

01 Apr

How to Create and Maintain a Viable Wellness Program at the 2015 Spring Forum

We are excited to announce our first ever PAHU Wellness Panel. PAHU has secured three great panelists from the local community to help discuss the ever growing topic of wellness and specifically their experiences with implementing and maintaining viable wellness plans. This panel will be moderated by PAHU President,   Tim Rasch.  

Meet our panelists:

Benjamin Prinzing, Founder at Kadalyst Health Partners










Benjamin Prinzing is the founder and Managing Partner at Kadalyst Health Partners, a workforce health consulting company in Portland, Oregon. Kadalyst helps employers develop their in-house worksite wellness programs by acting as the actual “wellness department,” while proving additional services such biometric screening and health coaching. Kadalyst’s model has proven to drive 80-90%+ active engagement, while improving employee health and better controlling healthcare costs, even without incentives.


Benjamin is also the 2013 and 2014 Worksite Wellness Summit chairperson, which is an annual all-day event held in Portland, where industry leaders present on the latest trends and programs in worksite wellness. In addition, Benjamin is the co-founder of the Worksite Wellness Network (WWN), which is a local networking forum that launched in 2012, as an ongoing spin-off of the annual summit, that meets bi-monthly to showcase local company’s wellness programs, while helping members improve their own wellness strategies. There are over 200 members, representing over 150 companies.


Benjamin’s passion for the wellness industry sparked after a colleague in 2005, passed away due to heart failure at age 38. Since then, Benjamin has been on a mission to drive meaningful engagement and outcomes for employers through his organization, while volunteering time to community-based initiatives like the summit and the WWN, to help promote the need for enhanced programming and local collaboration.


Meet Windy Hazell, National Director for People Growers of America, Inc.



Windy Hazell is one of the nation’s leading authorities on Corporate Wellness Promotion, working in the industry since it’s real awakening in the 80’s . Windy honed her skills working in the Corporate offices of People Growers of America, which opened its’ doors in 1985 in San Diego, Ca..  In the year 2000 she was offered the opportunity to develop the Northwest, and has since taking the division nationwide in 2005 and has taken the roll of National Director and owner of People Growers NW.

Windy’s innovative approach to corporate wellness encompasses combining valuable preventive screenings and risk assessments with interactive displays focused on all aspects of health, safety and life management skills to create stimulating and motivating venues for employee education and personal growth. Windy is also the creator and publisher of the Ultimate Wellness Resource Directory which is an annual publication sent out to over 3000 subscribers nationwide.

The passion and joy she has for her work is evident, so be prepared for an “enthusiasm inoculation” as she delivers some hard-earned secrets for building a successful Corporate Wellness Program.






Meet David Mays, President and CEO of Walker Tracker.

David Head Shot












David serves as President/CEO of Walker Tracker, a Portland-based software company that creates and administers private, activity-based wellness portals for organizations worldwide. Walker Tracker is now a leader in the wellness field, with clients that include Fortune 100 companies, government agencies, the US Military, non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, K-12 schools, and even entire communities!

Prior to Walker Tracker David worked with Synergy Corps, a Seattle consulting firm, helping organizations create and manage change.  He has held a number of senior management positions with  technology companies, including Quality Logic, NetApp, EMC, and Property  Metrics, a software modeling company he co-founded in 2003.

David is passionate about finding new, innovate ways to educate employees and motivate them to take action and personal responsibility for their health.  He is involved in a number of wellness initiatives, including The Wellness Underground, a forward-looking industry group whose goal is to challenge the status quo and to develop and promote “constructively disruptive” approaches for corporate wellness programs in the coming decade.

David has a BS in Electrical Engineering (magna cum laude) from University of Portland, and BA in Philosophy from Pacific Lutheran University.

04 Mar

Learn more about The Trail Blazers Foundation


The Trail Blazers Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in Oregon and SW Washington that are dedicated to helping children and families where they live, learn, and play. You can learn more about the Foundation by visiting their website


Money raised during the PAHU conference will be directed to our Moda Give and Go Assist Program. The Moda Give and Go Assist Program funds help support healthy, active living for kids. Money raised this season for the Give and Go Assist Program will be used to build an all-abilities playground at Cully Park in NE Portland. You can help us raise even more money for Cully Park! You, and others, can make a donation every time the Blazers make an assist. Visit trailblazers.com/assist to learn more or to make a pledge.




18 Feb

The IRS and IBS | Spring Forum Speaker, Theresa Barney

1094’s and 1095’s keeping you up at night?  Will the new IRS documentation send your clients into a complete free-fall exactly one year from now?  



Meet Theresa Barney, Manager, Health Care Reform at Moda Health and speaker at PAHU’s 2015 Spring Forum

As Moda Health’s manager of health care reform since the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, Theresa is responsible for leading the implementation of health care reform for Moda. Solely dedicated to health care reform and marketplace implementation, her knowledge and thorough understanding of the ACA and the national, regional and local marketplaces gives several teams across the enterprise the guidance and leadership needed to ensure a smooth implementation in a constantly changing environment.

Over the past five years, Theresa has been on the front lines of health care reform, working directly with the Oregon marketplace (Cover Oregon), Washington marketplace (Washington Healthplan Finder), and the Federal Marketplace for Alaska and Oregon representing the interests of Moda. Along with providing business partners and customers a level of confidence that Moda is on top of the ever-changing regulations, she’s responsible for ACA internal and external communications and ensuring policies and procedures are implemented to comply with the ACA requirements.

Theresa has over 24 years of experience in various aspects of health insurance. With a focus on client and producer relations, her vast and diverse knowledge gives her a unique perspective that allows her to think about and see obstacles and opportunities from a wide array of business needs including operations and risk management.


10 Feb

Waterguns and Strokes | Spring Forum Speaker, Ben Davis

At the 2015 PAHU Spring Forum you’ll have the privilege of hearing Ben Davis present Waterguns and Strokes; Protecting Incomes in the Post-ACA Marketplace

Ben Davis DiBroker

Ben Davis DiBroker


With all of the changes in the health insurance marketplace, it is more important than ever to cross-sell needed products to existing clients. And with reductions in health commissions, locating additional revenue streams can be the difference between having a bad year or making it a good year. Ben will share some amazing real life stories that will illustrate ways other agents have incorporated Individual Disability into their practices, and the impact it has had on client’s lives. Ben will also share a truly memorable exercise that will leave you always able to remember how important Health Insurance and Disability Insurance are for our clients.

Ben Davis has been a disability insurance wholesaler (or broker’s broker) with DIBroker since 2006.  He works with insurance producers on the individual long-term disability insurance for individual clients, or the carve-out individual disability for their groups. He coaches insurance agents through the process so they can sell the right policy to their clients, and helps them look good doing it. His office also provides back-office support: once the producer completes an application, they coordinate with carrier underwriters to get a policy issued without any more work on the producer’s part.

Come see Ben and many more dynamic speakers at the 2015 PAHU Spring Forum Wednesday, April 8th at the Oregon Convention Center.






30 Jan

Are you a broker who’s making a difference? We thought so.


NAHU is excited to announce our revitalized Brokers Making a Difference Campaign! In our story submission competition, we are encouraging all members to submit personal brokers making a difference stories as well as solicit testimonials from your clients. For each category – region and chapter – there will be a first, second and third place winner who will receive an American Express Gift Card in the amount of:

Submission’s are accepted December 1st- February 15th, 2015.

clickhere to share your story


Find out more information on this campaign, HERE.

30 Jan

A candid interview with PAHU past President, Jill Pedersen

Name: Jill Pedersen     

Title: Benefits Advisor

Business: Columbia Benefit Solutions, Inc.

Location: Lake Oswego

City you live in: Oregon City

Worst Job: Orange Julius as a teenager – squeezing oranges on an electric juicer, hour after hour during the holidays was no fun! The palms of my hands were bruised for weeks. I learned that I am not cut out for manual labor, and then I became a mom!

Dream Job: I have it – mother to 3 amazing boys!  But, if you are referring to a “paying” job I would love to be a nurse or doctor – I just don’t have what it takes to pass chemistry and calculus…I’ve seen my kids homework!  I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a kid.  My mom would make me a nurse’s hat and pin it on my head – that dates me!

Favorite Restaurant in Portland: TBD. Still sampling my way through the culinary offerings in town.  I’m from the southwest (transplant of 8 years) and have yet to find a good Mexican spot up here – recommendations would be appreciated!

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Anything poolside! It’s what I call good, clean, fun!  I enjoy camping and short day hikes also, but laying by the pool with palm trees and sunshine trumps it all!

Finish this sentence…”I’m at my happiest when…”   I am with my family.  After 22 years, I am still married to my best friend and I look forward to our weekly dates away from the kids.  We have handsome, respectful, sharp (yes, I’m bragging) boys who are creative and make us laugh every day.  I actually look forward to going home and spending time with all of them!

Favorite movie is… “ELF” – “Smiling’s my favorite!” “Santa’s Here!” Make’s me smile and I quote it all year!

Advice for my Future Self: Keep it simple. (I was going to add something else, but then it would negate my own advice!)

Group/organization/demographic you are most driven to help: I’m a softie for kids.

I talk the most about… Right now, it’s a tossup between pediatric dental and my kids. Depends on the day!

When I have an out-of-town visitor, the top 3 things they should do in Oregon are… #1 Visit in August – you are least likely to encounter rain. #2 Multnomah Falls – it is breathtaking to whoever sees it. #3 Sellwood antique malls – shop till you drop.

How do you take your coffee  I don’t.  I’m not a coffee drinker. If I’m feeling wild and crazy at lunch time I have a Diet Coke on the rocks with a twist!

If you were a super hero what would your super power be and why? I would love to be able to fly.  Traffic is a killer….purely selfish, right?!





18 Nov

NAHU New Member Promotion Pays $250



Did you know you can earn $250 for every 4 new members you refer to NAHU between June 1st and December 31st, 2014?  Time IS running out so when you’re talking to your industry contacts ask them if they are a NAHU member already.  

Need help with your NAHU elevator speech?

NAHU represents over 100,000 agents, brokers and benefit professionals.
The small monthly dues that I pay are worth it because no other organization fights as hard for me and
my clients. NAHU continues to be a strong voice on Capitol Hill.  NAHU has an “operation shout”  that
allows me and my clients direct access to my members of congress to express our concerns over current
legislation that they are voting on.
I get email updates on news and legislation as well as powerpoint presentations that I can use for my
clients and prospective clients.  This helps me keep my business and my clients prepared for anything.  I
also have the opportunity to attend regular networking meetings that give me critical tools to help me
grow my business.
If you are in this business and making a living you owe it to your clients and your industry to support the
organization that is supporting and fighting for your livelihood!!  You need to be a member!

Membership applications can be found HERE or visit NAHU for more information.

13 Nov

Republican Election Wave Misses Oregon

Democrats Make Gains in the Legislature 

By Doug Barber, OAHU Lobbyist


In the Oregon Legislature, Democrats picked up one seat in the House and two seats in the Senate, strengthening their majorities in each chamber. For the 2015 session, the House will be 35 D – 25 R. The Senate will likely be 18 D – 12 R.  Combined with John Kitzhaber’s re-election, this gives Democrats dominant control of the legislative process in the upcoming session.

In the House, the only seat that changed parties was in Salem where Rep. Vicki Berger (R) did not run for re-election. In the Senate, Republican incumbent Sen. Betsy Close (R-Albany) was defeated and, though the final vote has not been certified, it looks like Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) will also lose his seat.

2015 Session

Unlike the 2009, 2011 and to a lesser extent the 2013 sessions, health care issues are not expected to dominate the 2015 legislative session. Other issues will take center stage including:

  • K-12 funding, including all-day kindergarten
  • Transportation – funding for road maintenance and construction as well as non-highway transportation projects and
  • Implementation of the marijuana legalization measure.

Previous sessions, when there have been large Democratic majorities, have been challenging for business. Unions tend to have the upper hand and push bills that could be expensive for business to implement. One example of this in the 2015 session is likely to be a statewide sick leave policy.

One of the biggest health care challenges that will be on the agenda in 2015 is the health- care workforce shortage. The Oregon Health Plan is scrambling to find enough primary care providers to serve the 338,00 who enrolled in OHP last year. Another 83,800 enrolled in Qualified Health Plans (QHP) through Cover Oregon. As a result, commercial insurers are also feeling the squeeze on primary care providers.

Four state-funded programs, designed to support primary care and rural health care providers, will all be up for reconsideration:

  1. Loan Repayment provided $1 million to help doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists and others pay off their student loans in exchange for working in rural or underserved urban sites.
  2. Loan Forgiveness pays up to $35,000 in tuition for medical school and nurse practitioners who agree to serve in rural Oregon when they graduate.
  3. Rural health tax credit gives a $5,000 per year tax credit to health care providers in rural Oregon.
  4. Rural malpractice subsidy pays a sliding-scale percentage of the malpractice insurance costs for rural providers. Those who deliver babies receive the highest percentage.

So while health care will not be the focal point of the 2015 legislative session, there will be plenty of bills to keep us busy. We won’t see most of the policy proposals, including proposed new insurance mandates, which seem to pop up every session, until the new legislature meets for organizational days in January.

Upcoming dates to keep an eye on:

  • December 1 when the Governor is expected to release his proposed 2015-2017 budget
  • Late December when the House Speaker and Senate President announce the membership of the new legislative committees for the 2015 session.


For questions or comments contact Doug Barber, OAHU Lobbyist, 541-221-3072doug@lobbyoregon.com.

Doug Barber